Cool summer dessert is deceptively simple

By Chris Ross
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Cover of "Every Day Is Saturday" by Sarah Copeland.

In her new cookbook, “Every Day Is Saturday,” Sarah Copeland’s goal is to bring a weekend-cook mentality to weekday meals. Copeland is the former food editor for Real Simple magazine and a nutrition educator. She’s no stranger to a hectic work schedule, so she had to develop strategies for feeding her family all week.

“The food we created for Real Simple had to be, above all, simple,” she writes in the cookbook’s introduction. “So I flexed my simpler muscle at home, too, making things that did double duty, feeding us now and later. … I learned to use the weekend to feed and nurture my soul — and my family — for the whole week.”

She says this gorgeous make-ahead summer dessert from the book is “technically a semifreddo (an easier homemade ice cream substitute that slices beautifully) — but no one needs to know that.”



Serves 6 to 8

10 chocolate wafer cookies, finely crushed (about 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

3 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean, scraped

1 cup sugar

Fine sea salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Line the bottom of an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with waxed paper.

Stir together the cookies and melted butter and set aside. Combine the raspberries, lemon juice and zest in a high-powered blender and puree until completely smooth. Set aside.

Combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla bean seeds, sugar and a pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl, set over a pot of simmering water so that the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and cook over medium heat, whisking the eggs constantly, until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until thick and completely cool, 2 to 3 minutes more. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the speed of your mixer. Gently fold the egg mixture into the whipped cream, taking care to keep it light and airy. (Take a tiny taste at this point; it’s so delicious!)

Pull out 2 cups of the mixture, put it in a bowl, and fold in the raspberry puree until it is a uniform pink color. Dollop the two mixtures in heaping ladlefuls, alternating vanilla and raspberry cream, into the prepared pan. You can leave it like this, for a more modern look, or use a skewer or a thin knife to streak and marble the two creams together in places.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze, level, until it starts to firm up, about 1 hour. When the semifreddo has set a bit (is not jiggly), sprinkle the buttered chocolate cookie crumbs evenly over the top to make a crust, and press them in just slightly. Freeze until completely solid, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

To serve the cake, dip an offset spatula into warm water and turn the cake out onto a chilled platter. Slice and serve within 5 minutes; return to the freezer until ready to serve a second round.

Get ahead: Because you need it to set up to slice nicely, an icebox cake is just the thing to make far ahead and have at the ready. Make this up to a day in advance, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and foil. Because of its lower fat content, freezing it any longer than 2 days can make it turn icy — though still delicious.

Reprinted from “Every Day Is Saturday” by Sarah Copeland with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019.